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Usually I like to focus this blog on the creative part of the writing process, but I'm in an unusual pause at the moment so I thought I'd talk about the analytic end. I know the common wisdom in mainstream publishing is that an author should pay no mind to reviews and ratings. At most, we should do comic readings of our one-star reviews to show how little we care. (Only cry in private behind locked doors.) So this essay isn't really for anyone whose book came out from a major publisher.

I suppose I'm cheating a little by including Naomi Novik's League of Dragons in this series, because technically the hardback was released in June. But the mass market paperback was a November book, so that's my excuse. And it isn't that Novok's Hugo-finalist series needs any extra publicity boost from me, but it's an opportunity to tell an amusing story about the power of the knowledgable independent bookseller.

The description for The Hidden People by Allison Littlewood is intriguingly ambiguous with regard to genre. Is this a historic mystery? A fantasy? A dark psychological exploration? One can, of course, come to some useful conclusions based on publisher and on bookseller marketing category, but perhaps it would be fun to read it without that advance evidence.

It's hard enough in ordinary times to keep up with all the books one might want to acquire. Paying attention in the aftermath of The Unfortunate Election was a special challenge. That must be why I was oblivious to the collection A Certain Persuasion: Modern LGBTQ+ fiction inspired by Jane Austen's novels, edited by Julie Bozza, when it first came around. I have remedied that oversight, as I have a great fondness not only for Austen's fiction but for creative re-tellings and extrapolations of her stories.

What: featuring Mother of Souls again? But of course, because it's my birthday. And if you can't jump the queue and take a second turn on your birthday, when can you?

(I had a lovely essay written here and then did one of those accidental "swipe sideways" things on my trackpad that disappeared it. So let's do something different.)

Reviewer Shira Glassman at the Lesbrary says: "One way to describe Marian by Ella Lyons is that it’s a kiddie version of Heather Rose Jones’s Daughter of Mystery — both are costume dramas featuring a traditionally feminine lesbian with a nurturing personality and a lesbian swordfighter living in a world where it’s

Christmas at Winterbourne by Jen Silver was perhaps a bit more topical as a holiday book when it was released back in November. But if you like contemporary lesbian romance with large complex casts, check it out! You can get a taste of the book at the Book Clips series of The Lesbian Talk Show podcast. (Disclaimer: my own Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast is one of the Lesbian Talk Show segments!)

Timekeeper by Tara Sim looks like a fascinating story, and one I haven't heard any buzz about in the circles I run in (which are usually pretty interested in young adult fantasy, especially books with queer romantic elements). I hope some of my readers check it out and let me know what you think!

The Great November Book Release Re-Boot is to focus attention on books that might have been over-shadowed by reactions to the US election results--at least, books that might be of interest to my readers. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst is a young adult fantasy targeted at the "princesses and magic and horses and girls kissing" readership.

Although my Great November Book Release Re-Boot series is aimed at November 2016 books that might have been shorted on buzz due to post-election anxiety, there's no actual requirement that a book be languishing in obscurity to be included. After Atlas by Emma Newman is on the recently-announced Clarke Award shortlist and has received a fair amount of attention as the not-a-sequel to her previous Planetfall.

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